Your web browser is probably the most important thing on your computer - and you almost certainly spend more time with it than you do with family or friends.
It's no wonder, then, that browser battles cause so much controversy. Some browsers don't render sites properly, others don't include useful features, and yet more won't let you tweak them to suit yourself.
That's why we've decided to create a manifesto for our own. TechRadar doesn't build browsers, but we think you'll agree: if we did, it'd probably be the best browser in the world.
The rendering engine
We like Chrome's stripped-down design (and we prefer its tabs to the similarly minimalist Safari) but we'd also like to tweak it, so as with Firefox we'd use PNG graphics and CSS code to describe the user interface and enable skins. We'd also add a sidebar for additional content, whether it's Twitter or bookmarks.
We'd also take Chrome's combined address and search bar. Why have two boxes in your browser when one does the job just fine? That would take care of URLs, web searches - Google would be the default so our browser makes us some money, but you would of course be able to change that - and history browsing.
A big part of Firefox's success is due to the huge number of available extensions. Quality varies widely, but when they're good they're very good - and of course if you let other people develop handy features, you don't need to worry about making them yourself.
We'd also nick Firefox's forthcoming Taskfox, which adds the excellent Ubquity to the browser and enables plain text mashups such as "map this address" or "tweet this link". While it does much the same job as Internet Explorer 8's accelerators, using text input rather than the right-click menu helps reduce clutter. For mockups of Taskfox, check out this PNG image.
Security and Privacy
A private browsing mode is a given - either Internet Explorer's InPrivate or Chrome's Incognito, both of which enable you to have private browsing in one window and normal browsing with another - but we'd take things one step further and bake in support for genuinely anonymous browsing via Tor.
That would give our users two options: traditional private browsing for when they're shopping for surprise presents, and seriously private browsing for when they're blowing the whistle on corporate misbehaviour or doing something else heroic. We'd include pop-up blocking, but for getting rid of other annoyances - adverts, unwanted Flash, that sort of thing - we'd let developers build appropriate extensions.
As with Internet Explorer and Chrome we'd give each browser tab its own process so a misbehaving app can't bring down the entire browser, and we'd take Internet Explorer's sandboxing so that in-browser apps can't just fiddle around with anything they fancy.
Last but not least we'd also take the anti-phishing approach of existing browsers, which compares URLs against known nasties and warns you accordingly. We'd also take the URL highlighting that IE8 uses to show you what domain you're actually visiting - although we'd add Firefox's one-click identity management, that enables you to see not just whether a site is encrypted but how many times you've visited it, whether it's using cookies and whether you've saved any passwords.
We'd take some of Internet Explorer's content filtering features so our browser was family friendly out of the box: Internet ratings are a non-starter - dodgy sites don't bother with them, and precious few reputable ones do either - but Internet Explorer's Content Advisor is a decent idea. We'd make it more prominent, though, rather than burying it in a dialog box: the more obvious a feature is, the more likely people are to use it.
Odds and sods
Opera's User Agent Switcher is a great idea, especially when banks and other secure sites implement overly restrictive browser sniffers that lock us out of our cash whenever our browers are updated. RSS feed support would be in there too, and we'd combine the RSS interfaces of Internet Explorer (the prettiest) and Safari (the most useful) for users who prefer not to use a stand-alone RSS reader.
We'd also borrow Internet Explorer's no add-ons mode, enabling users to launch the browser with all extensions, plugins and other add-ons disabled.
Last but not least, we'd make the end user licence open source, partly because it'd be a bit cheeky to use the open source Webkit engine without giving anything back, and largely because you really don't want to wait for us to get round to fixing flaws, plugging security holes or adding new features.
The Web changes too quickly for a single firm to stay on top of browser technology: just ask Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer remained unchanged for five years between IE6 and IE7, with a further two and a bit year gap between IE7 and IE8. Google's Chrome, which takes full advantage of open source development, has gone from version zero to a beta of version 2 in just seven months.
So what do you think? Have we invented the world's best browser, or are you happy with the ones that are already available? Is expandability worth the extra overhead, or is sheer speed all that matters? We're all (electronic) ears: tell us what you think in the comments below.
Like this? Check out Tested: Chrome vs IE8 vs Firefox 3.1 vs Safari 4
Sign up for the free weekly TechRadar newsletter
Get tech news delivered straight to your inbox. Register for the free TechRadar newsletter and stay on top of the week's biggest stories and product releases. Sign up at http://www.techradar.com/register